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UNREFLECTIVE LANGUAGE December 25, 2004

Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.
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“A Shattered City awaits refugees returning to Falluja. Posted by Hello

Let me concede, that if your mates were indiscriminately killed by suicide bomb or by mortar fire, either way horrific in human terms, and especially if they were the sort of people reconstructing the country rather than suppressing the nationalistic resistance, it would be understandable to be angry and wish to hit out. But, I suppose, trained soldiers do not do that, and when this has happened in the past, as it has in always every army, war crimes have been committed. The cool judgment of hindsight, and therefore of trained foresight, is understandable, but not acceptable. The victims of anger are often the innocent, or simply soldiers in an opposing cause.

And yet the unreflective nature of the language of this American officer suggests a mind taken over with self justification, with ideology and not thought. It is as if to kill people is of no consequences. Here are the statements from the ABC report:

“The current Mosul situation is best described as tense,” Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings told AFP on Thursday.

“Soldiers are maintaining an offensive mindset. The mission has not changed. We continue to conduct operations to kill or capture those trying to disrupt progress in Iraq. These operations have been very successful.”

The US military has appointed Brigadier General Richard Formica to investigate the suicide bombing of the military mess hall that killed 22 people – the deadliest attack ever against Americans in Iraq.

The offensive mindset gives precedence to killing not capturing people, raising the question as to what gives the right to behave in this way. If, for example, it is a god-given right – at least one possibility – we have a clash of civilizations, or more exactly a religious war here. Of course, I presume, there is not such construct, as an American-given right in this context.

Meanwhile, some residents of Falluja are allowed back. The BBC has a first-hand account here. To come back to find that the flesh of your relative has been eaten by a hungry dog, must be among the most “successful” coup of all time, from the land of PR. But in war, the rule is that the most successful PR is to hide the evidence.

As I recall, Mao observed that “power comes out of the barrel of a gun”. In the short term, may be.

Picture from the BBC.

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